Cancer stereotypes

So the morning post has arrived & I start to go through. The usual stuff then I come across a letter from Breast Cancer Care. I assume it is just a generic letter asking me to donate but I open it anyway.

Just as thought, it asks you to donate. However, this was a little different. It was about a man’s effort to raise £50,000 by Christmas Eve. With it there was a letter explaining his wife had secondary Cancer & had done lots to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. What resonated the most with me was when he said “he was watching his wife die in front of him”. As someone who has secondary breast cancer, I really don’t like the thought that my family is watching me die or that I am just waiting to die. I have no idea how long I have, the oncologist has never put a limit on it. I’d like to think I’ll be here for quite awhile, maybe I’ll become a medical marvel? I’ve been in the extremely small percentage in getting this type of cancer at my age and the treatment I have received has worked better then expected so maybe I’m going to live for another 50 years (benefits of being the exception to the rule I guess).

I know they have to use shock tactics to get people to donate & if you can donate, please do. However I hate seeing this stereotype of people with cancer! The Macmillan advert is the worse, believe me I have seen a chemo unit that empty & sad. There are TV’s, comfy chairs, the most incredible people to chat to (fellow patients) & lovely staff who sit with you to chat & make you a lovely cuppa.

Make a difference today

Please can you take a moment to sign the petition below so secondary breast cancer is made a priority. Each year around 12,000 people die from it.

This is what I am currently fighting & I’d like to know that it is given some priority.

It is so easy to do, you could do it while you wait for the kettle to boil or while you are waiting outside the school gates but it will make such a huge difference.

Thank you

https://www.change.org/p/uk-and-devolved-governments-make-secondary-breast-cancer-a-priority/u/8830416?tk=ycvhd_tnqCJSSOxLNi4Y7VduHeS45Zg1NCBOA-C5_7c&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_update_email

Can we ever feel like we’ve got off lightly?

On one of the Facebook pages I follow, woman was expressing her disappointed in having her radiotherapy delayed from Thursday to the following Monday. As someone who has experienced this, I suggested that she look at it from the perspective that at least she can be delayed & that I often felt, after speaking to other patients, that I had got off lightly. Although the woman in question agreed, it became quite a strong talking point. One woman saying that because we have all had cancer we should never feel as though we have got off lightly.

Throughout my treatment I have tried my best to stay positive & have been very humbled by some people. The people that struck me the most were the ones I met in chemo. One man had had 18 months worth of chemo only to be told it hadn’t worked as effectively so he would have to have it for the rest of his life & another who had to go in every 2 weeks for blood transfusions.

This can be transferred to many different areas of our lives. I completely agree with the idea that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion” but isn’t it better to look at things from the glass is half full perspective then the half empty perspective?

Chemo- 3 months on

Well it’s been 3 months since I finished my chemotherapy and although I have recovered well, there are still some signs of what has happened to my body.

The docetaxel that I had for my last 3 sessions had the side effect of damaging your nails. I did as instructed and got away with it. However now the brittle nails are now growing out, it is causing a lot of problems. As the nail breaks so easily and are close to the skin, I have been wearing glue on nails to help relieve the pain and so they look a bit nicer. While taking off my nails today to replace them I thought I would take a photo to show you and you can see some of the less well known side effects

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Happy days

Today I saw the orthopaedic specialist to have his take on my MRI results. This time I was able to see the actual scan pictures & the improvement is amazing. The doctor said it has all but gone! There is still a small amount & I was aware that I will never be cured but its great to see how surprised the doctors are with the results. I always seem to be the exception to the rule & in these circumstances, I’m happy to be.

This means that all the feeling rubbish, needles, tablets & hospital admissions have been worth it. I have also been told by the orthopaedic specialist that my visits to him can now be reduced as there is no need for any surgical intervention.

Happy days 😊

Herceptin & Pertuzumab

Yesterday I had my 3 weekly dose of Herceptin & Pertuzumab. So I thought I’d share a couple of videos showing how each of the drugs work within my body. Pertuzumab is a relatively new drug & at the moment I am 1 of only 5 patients receiving it at my hospital. It works alongside the Herceptin (trastuzumab) to help stop the Cancer cells dividing & spreading.

http://vimeo.com/m/12434125

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e1jCDMNX4Zw

I did it!

Well I survived my weekend back to work!

I must admit I was exhausted (worked from 9:30pm to 12:30am) but I did it. I know it doesn’t sound like I did much but I’m still recovering from radiotherapy & I usually go to bed around 10pm. I really enjoyed it too. It was great to get out, earn some money & socialise (perks of being a photographer at a nightclub).

It even gave me the boost to take photos on a family walk the next day. I loved being able to get back into something I love so much & get things back on track.

So in a break from tradition, I thought I’d post a photo from our family walk & show you 2 of the people that help me through the tougher times 🙂

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